The Philadelphia Eagles : State Of The Franchise


Dec 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

Since last Friday, when Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced he was rewarding head coach Chip Kelly with total control over personnel decisions, and demoting (let’s be realistic) general manager Howie Roseman to handling the salary cap (plus a few other responsibilities)–which is basically what he was doing before he became GM back in 2010–there has been nothing else except tons of speculation.

For starters, Roseman can not be happy. Since he was a little boy, running mock NFL drafts in his parents’ living room at the age of 7 or 8, Howie’s life-long dream was to become an NFL general manager. Reading any article that chronicles Roseman’s ascent (such as this one), it’s clear that he did everything in his power to achieve his goal. It is a rarity that someone without a football background becomes a general manager in the NFL, and Howie accomplished such a feat.

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So if Lurie knows Roseman’s story, and obviously respects him with the utmost sincerity, how will this situation ever last? How will Roseman be able to sit through drafts without little-to-zero say in the war room? A article states that Howie has a great feel for which round certain draftees will be selected, but he does not know if their talents will actually transition to the NFL. If Chip Kelly is going to be picking the players this year, he should definitely utilize this skill that Roseman possesses. The ability to wheel-and-deal for extra draft picks, by way of understanding how teams value players, is a useful asset that Howie brings to the table.

Piecing together this whole dilemma would be much easier if the public knew exactly which players Roseman hand-selected. Whatever the case may be, Kelly obviously thought Howie was in over his head.

Perhaps Roseman is re-evaluating his ability to truly evaluate talent. Or, he is lying-in-wait until another team asks him to be their general manager.The question remains as to if Howie will swallow his pride and stick with an owner, and a head coach, that could make a Super Bowl run sooner than later.

John Middlekauff makes an interesting point on the website In his article he argues that Lurie is doing the right thing by standing by his head coach. Lurie did this with Andy Reid previously and was successful. The business of the NFL is all about winning, and Chip Kelly is a winner. At times there may be some drama, but Lurie is a seasoned owner and knows what it takes to maintain a franchise. Contrastingly, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York just fired his golden-ticket head coach Jim Harbaugh. Chances are that San Fran will spiral downward as York frantically tries to replace the coach that quickly raised his franchise from the abyss beginning in 2011.

Whatever the end result is in Philly, regarding Kelly and Roseman, Eagles fans should find consolation in knowing that Jeffrey Lurie owns the Birds, not someone like Jed York.